2024 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Each year, YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team selects and annotates an annual list of notable audio recordings significant to young adults from those released in the past two years. Click on the title of each book to be taken to the blog post featuring a review, or browse all blog posts here. You can see previous lists on the YALSA website and on the Teen Book Finder app.

Blogging Team

Coordinator Jennifer Sutton, Catherine M. Andronik, Rebecca Baldwin, Jennifer Balke, Sarah Carpenter, Jen Haas, Amy Hailey, Alyssa Johnson, Natalie LaRocque, Ileana Pulu, Haley Shaw, Lysha Thompson

Top Ten

  • Check and Mate
  • By Ali Hazelwood
  • Read by Karissa Vacker
  • November 7, 2023.
  • Length: 9.5 hr.
  • Listening Library, DD
  • 9780593744543
  • Grades: 8-12.
  • This enemies to lovers, character-driven romance, is set in the world of competitive chess. Mallory swore off chess but when she accepts a chess fellowship she finds herself falling back in love with the game and in love with the world’s number 1 chess player. Karissa Vacker’s narration is engaging and brings the characters to life with multiple voices.
  • Imogen, Obviously
  • By Becky Albertalli
  • Read by Caitlin Kinnunen
  • May 2, 2023
  • Length: 9.5 hr.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Balzer + Bray, DD
  • 9780063045903
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • Imogen is the world’s best queer ally, so it is no big deal to pretend to be her best friend’s ex when she visits her at college. Imogen finds herself falling in love with the college and someone unexpected. This lighthearted audio eases listeners into exploring deeper and more complex issues.
  • Lei and the Fire Goddess
  • By Malia Maunakea
  • Read by Jennifer Robideau
  • June 6, 2023
  • Length: 8 hr.
  • Listening Library, DD
  • 9780593681244
  • Grades: 4-6.
  • Lei begs her Tūtū / grandma to do touristy things during a visit to Hawai’i, but tūtū prioritizes family traditions and folklore. Then Lei picks a sacred flower and insults Pele, fire goddess, whose wrath sends her on an impossible adventure. A fast-paced action story with expert pronunciation of ʻŌlelo Hawai’i / Native Hawaiian.
  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
  • By Isaac Blum
  • Read by Josh Bloomberg
  • September 13, 2022
  • Length: 6 hr.
  • Listening Library, DD
  • 9780593630037
  • Grades: 7-10. 
  • Hoodie Rosen’s life is turned upside down when his Orthodox Jewish community relocates to an unwelcoming town. Hoodie’s only solace is Anna-Marie, whose mother, the mayor, opposes Hoodie’s community. Bloomberg expresses humor while exploring the painful topic of religious prejudice.   
  • Promise Boys
  • By Nick Brooks
  • Read by a full cast
  • January 31, 2023
  • Length: 6.5 hr.
  • Macmillan Audio, DD
  • 9781250877253
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • When the principal of The Urban Promise Prep School is found dead several students find themselves suspects, as the students begin their own investigation, they find a dark side to the prestigious school. A suspenseful reading by a full cast pulls the listener into the twists and turns of this whodunit. 
  • The Queens of New York
  • By E.L. Shen
  • Read by a full cast
  • June 6, 2023
  • Length: 8 hr.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD
  • 9780063237988
  • Grades: 8-11.
  • Best friends and New York natives Jia, Ariel and Everett are inseparable until this summer. Each friend goes on their own summer adventure and readers get to see them become more comfortable with themselves and the world they want to live in. The three narrators each have a unique delivery perfectly reflecting the teen characters.
  • Warrior Girl Unearthed
  • By Angeline Boulley
  • Read by Isabella Star LaBlanc
  • May 2, 2023
  • Length: 11.5 hr
  • Macmillan Audio, DD
  • 9781250877277
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Perry Firekeeper-Birch just wanted to enjoy her summer. Instead she is forced to complete an internship at her tribe’s museum. There she learns about NAGPRA and repatriation. She and her friends embark on a journey to bring their ancestors home. The narrator brings the story to life with her pronunciation of Ojibwa language and her captivating tone.
  • We Deserve Monuments
  • By Jas Hammonds
  • Read by Tamika Katon-Donegal
  • November 29, 2022
  • Length: 10.5 hr.
  • Recorded Books, Inc., DD
  • 9781705069530
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • Avery’s life changes when she leaves her home in DC to live in a small southern town where she encounters a hostile grandmother, a racist community, and the mystery of her grandfather’s disappearance decades ago. Tamika Katon-Donegal emotionally portrays Avery’s journey in this LGBTQ+ slow-burn mystery.
  • What Happened to Rachel Riley?
  • By Claire Swinarski
  • Read by a full cast
  • January 10, 2023
  • Length: 6 hr.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD
  • 9780063213128
  • Grades: 5-8.
  • Anna Hunt just moved to East Middle, where she discovers that former popular girl, Rachel Riley, is now enemy number one. Using a full cast of readers to present a variety of clues in the form of notes, emails, and text messages, Anna digs into the mystery.
  • Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor
  • By Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Read by Eric Yang.
  • November 11, 2022
  • Length: 9 hr.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio, DD
  • 9781797158914
  • Grades: 6-8.
  • Zachary Ying is just trying to survive school and play his favorite AR video game. Suddenly, his game becomes more reality than augmented reality. He embarks on a journey across China to save his mom and save the world. The narrator expertly brings each character to life with unique voices. 

Nominees

  • Afterglow. By Phil Stamper. Read by a full cast. 2023. 9 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593347720). Gr.  9-12. In the sequel to Golden Boys, Gabe, Reese, Sal, and Heath navigate senior year as they encounter life changes, discrimination, and love. Can they accomplish their dreams and keep their friendships alive? A heartfelt story about growing up performed earnestly by an ensemble cast.
  • Beyond the Wand. By Tom Felton. Read by the author. 2022. 7 hr. Hachette Audio, DD (9781668619483). Adult. Tom Felton rose to fame as the villainous Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movie series. In his memoir, he details his experience as a boy wizard and struggles with addiction and mental illness in adulthood. Felton’s story comes to life with his masterfully humorous and honest narration. 
  • The Black Queen. By Jumata Emill. Read by Angela Pean and Erin Spencer. 2023. 11 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593667699). Gr. 9-12. Nova is the first Black homecoming queen of Lovett High, but she is murdered shortly after being elected. Her best friend, Duchess, and main suspect, Tinsley, are determined to solve the crime. The alternating voices add a depth to the story and keep listeners in suspense. 
  • Blood Debts. By Terry J. Benton-Walker. Read by a full cast. 2023. 14.5 hr. Macmillan Audio, DD (9781250883186). Gr. 9-12. In magical New Orleans, twins Clement and Cristina are the descendants of the dethroned Generational magic queen. When their family is attacked by unknown assailants, they must uncover secrets of the past, to save their futures. The full cast of narrators brings listeners into the intrigue and plays out the expansive plot. 
  • Borrow My Heart. By Kasie West. Read by Caitlin Kinnunen. 2023. 7.5hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593680162). Gr. 8-12. To save Asher from the embarrassment of being catfished, Wren secretly pretends to be his online girlfriend. Wren knows that she needs to come clean, as her feelings for Asher grow. Told with typical Kasie West panache, Caitlin Kinnunen’s narration keeps the fun going.
  • The Brothers Hawthorne. By Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Read by Jay Ben Markson. 2023. 13 hr. Hachette Audio, DD (9781668623817). Grayson and Jameson Hawthorne each face a challenge of their own, half a world apart. Both rely on everything their grandfather taught them. Nash and Xander offer their support as does Avery Grahams, the newly named Hawthorne heiress. The narrator’s smooth, mellow voice is perfect for multiple characters. Gr. 9-12.
  • *Check and Mate. By Ali Hazelwood. Read by Karissa Vacker. 2023. 9.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593744543). Gr. 8-12. This enemies to lovers, character-driven romance, is set in the world of competitive chess. Mallory swore off chess but when she accepts a chess fellowship she finds herself falling back in love with the game and in love with the world’s number 1 chess player. Karissa Vacker’s narration is engaging and brings the characters to life with multiple voices. 
  • Chloe and the Kaishao Boys. By Mae Coyiuto. Read by Becca Q. Co. 2023. 8.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593663806). Gr. 9-12. Chloe plans to leave Manila behind next year when she travels to the United States for college to learn animation. Before she leaves, her family insists on throwing an epic traditional debut and her dad is working on finding the perfect escort for her. This rom com is taken to new heights with the fun audio narration. 
  • The Davenports. By Krystal Marquis. Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. 2023. 12 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593634783). Gr. 7-10. Olivia, Helen, Amy-Rose and Ruby navigate a world of privilege and passion in 1910 Chicago. The Davenports are one of Chicago’s most highly respected families and are expected to uphold the family legacy while looking towards the future. The narrarator conveys the romance, heartbreak, courage and drama through expertly executed voice variation and tone changes. 
  • The Depths. By Nicole Lesperance. Read by Phoebe Strole. 2022. 9hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593630631). Gr. 9-12. When Addie is dragged along on her mother’s honeymoon, she quickly learns that their island destination isn’t a slice of paradise. Addie needs to discover the island’s secrets before she becomes its next victim. This haunting audio gives a sinister voice to the island and enhances the creep factor.
  • Dinged. By Tommy Greenwald. Read by Ramon De Ocampo and Carly Robins. 2022. 5 hr. Tantor Audio, DD (9798765054598). Gr. 5-8. Caleb follows his NFL superstar father’s path by playing on his high school’s varsity team. Once there, Caleb is forced to witness the risks of repeated concussions. Ramon de Ocampo conveys the emotional journey Caleb struggles with as he decides what place football will have in his future.
  • Fake Dates and Mooncakes. By Sher Lee. Read by Joshua Chang. 2023. 8 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593680209). Gr. 9-12. Follow a heartwarming story about Dylan Tang, who wants to enter a mooncake-making contest to honor his mother’s memory and save his family’s restaurant. When he starts fake dating the wealthy and handsome Theo Somers things become a bit more complicated. Joshua Chang expertly brings this emotional story to life with his narration.
  • Flowerheart. By Catherine Bakewell. Ready by Morag Sims. 2023. 9.5 hr. HarperTeen, DD (9780063214651). Gr. 10-12. Clara’s magic has always defied her control, but it has never hurt anyone until now. It is only with the help of her former best friend, Xavier, that she may have a chance to stop the damage. Morag Sims gives voice to sweet Clara, and makes it easy to root for Clara while facing the hurtful internal voice of her magic.
  • For Lamb. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Read by a full cast. 2023. 8 hr. Dreamscape Media, DD (9781666631708). Gr. 8-12. Lamb, an African American teen growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1930s, agrees to befriend a white girl, never realizing that her actions will make her family a target for lynching.
  • If You Could See the Sun. By Ann Liang. Read by Natalie Naudus. 2022. 9 hr. Harlequin Audio, DD (9781488217968). Gr. 9-12. As a scholarship student at an elite Beijing bording school Alice Sun feels unseen. Alice develops an uncontrollable power of invisibility that turns into a buisness endeavor to raise money for her tuition. Natalie Naudus does a stellar job crafting characters in Liang’s exploration of class differences. 
  • Imogen, Obviously. By Becky Albertalli. Read by Caitlin Kinnunen. 2023. 9.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Balzer + Bray, DD (9780063045903). Gr. 9-12. Imogen is the world’s best queer ally, so it is no big deal to pretend to be her best friend’s ex when she visits her at college. Imogen finds herself falling in love with the college and someone unexpected. This lighthearted audio eases listeners into exploring deeper and more complex issues. 
  • In Nightfall. By Suzanne Young. Read by Elena Rey. 2023. 11.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593667934). Gr. 9-12. Theo and her brother discover a dark presence that hunts at night when they spend the summer in their father’s hometown of Nightfall. Can Theo and her family survive the town’s murderous curse? Elena Rey’s atomospheric reading highlights the spookiness of Young’s vampire tale. 
  • Kismat Connection. By Ananya Devarajan. Read by Reena Dutt and Vikas Adam. 2023. 8.5 hr.  Harlequin Audio, DD (9781488227509). Gr. 9-12. Madhuri wants to avoid her family’s “curse” of every family member marrying their first love. Madhuri enters into an agreement with her best friend, Arjun, to pretend to date, but their fake relationship leads to real feelings. Dual narrations illustrate the struggles and joy of first love. 
  • *Lei and the Fire Goddess. By Malia Maunakea. Read by Jennifer Robideau. 2023. 8 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593681244). Gr. 4-6. Lei begs her Tūtū / grandma to do touristy things during a visit to Hawai’i, but tūtū prioritizes family traditions and folklore. Then Lei picks a sacred flower and insults Pele, fire goddess, whose wrath sends her on an impossible adventure. A fast-paced action story with expert pronunciation of ʻŌlelo Hawai’i / Native Hawaiian. 
  • *The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen. By Isaac Blum. Read by Josh Bloomberg. 2022. 6 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593630037). Gr. 7-10.  Hoodie Rosen’s life is turned upside down when his Orthodox Jewish community relocates to an unwelcoming town. Hoodie’s only solace is Anna-Marie, whose mother, the mayor, opposes Hoodie’s community. Bloomberg expresses humor while exploring the painful topic of religious prejudice.    
  • Lucha of the Night Forest. By Tehlor Kay Mejia. Read by Elena Rey. 2023. 11 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593613962). Gr. 8-12. Lucha has never understood her ability to evade the deadly monsters in the forest, but people in high places will do anything to control that power. When her sister is caught in the crossfire, Lucha journeys to save her. This tenacious main character is successfully brought to life in the audio by Elena Rey.
  • Miles Morales Suspended. By Jason Reynolds. Read by Guy Lockard and Nile Bullock. 2023. 4 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797145600). Gr. 7-12. After the previous novel’s events, Miles is serving a day of in-school detention. Even though he just saved the world from the evil wardens, his spidey sense alerts him to a new threat, termites! This lively audio recording follows Miles as he fights to save the world.
  • The Night in Question. By Kathleen Glasgow and liz Lawson. Read by a full cast. 2023. 11 hr. Listening Library, DD (978059368026). Gr. 9-12. Glasgow and Lawson are back with Alice and Iris months after Alice’s best friend Brooke was killed. Can the two figure out who attacked a student at a dance and solve a decades old case at the same time? Narrators Amoss and Linneman drive the mystery at an exciting pace. 
  • Nightbirds. By Kate J. Armstrong. Read by Saskia Maarleveld. 2023. 12.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593664292). Gr, 9-12. There is a prohibition on magic, but the Nightbirds are young women, who still help the rich and desperate access the spells they most desire. The audiobook solidifies the voices of the three Nightbirds, Matilde, Æsa, and Sayer, and their path to uncovering the treachery surrounding them.  
  • Other Side of the Tracks. By Charity Alyse. Read by a full cast. 2022. 12.5 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797152769). Gr. 7-12. Everyone knows not to cross the tracks between Bayside and Hamilton, but newcomer Zach ignores that. Capri and Justin crossed from Hamilton once, to see their mama perform on Broadway. The long-running feud between the racially divided towns has the teens caught in the middle. Expertly narrated in alternating voices. 
  • Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh. By Rachel Lippincott. Read by Natalie Naudus and Shakira Shute. 2023. 8 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797161617). Gr. 9-12. A spin on a regency romance, Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh is a Sapphic time travel story about finding yourself. The main characters, Audrey and Lucy, are brought together when a toss of a coin transports Audrey from 2023 to 1812. The narrators do an excellent job bringing these characters and their emotional journey to life.
  • *Promise Boys. By Nick Brooks. Read by a full cast. 2023. 6.5 hr. Macmillan Audio, DD (9781250877253). Gr. 9-12. When the principal of The Urban Promise Prep School is found dead several students find themselves suspects, as the students begin their own investigation, they find a dark side to the prestigious school. A suspenseful reading by a full cast pulls the listener into the twists and turns of this whodunit. 
  • *The Queens of New York. By E.L. Shen. Read by a full cast. 2023. 8 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063237988). Gr. 8-11. Best friends and New York natives Jia, Ariel and Everett are inseparable until this summer. Each friend goes on their own summer adventure and readers get to see them become more comfortable with themselves and the world they want to live in. The three narrators each have a unique delivery perfectly reflecting the teen characters. 
  • The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway. By Ashley Schumacher. Read by Ellie Gossage. 2023. 8 hr. Tantor Audio, DD (9798765070079). Gr. 7-10. Madeline “Gwen” Hathaway’s life on the Renaissance faire circut changes when she meets Arthur who makes her question her life’s rules. Madeline must find the courage to take on a new role at Faire and possibly a new relationship in this audiobook with an heartwarming and sincere narration.
  • Rubi Ramos’s Recipe for Success. By Jessica Parra. Read by Karla Serrato. 2023. 8.5 hr. Dreamscape Media, DD (9781666633634). Gr. 9-12. Rubi Ramos has a recipe for success to make her immigrant parents proud, but when Rubi gets waitlisted for her dream college, she has to change her plans to make herself happy. Karla Serrato’s narration of Parra’s debut novel is hilarious while relatable.   
  • Some Kind of Hate. By Sarah Darer Littman. Read by Michael Crouch and Andrew Eiden. 2023. 9 hr. Blackstone Audio, Inc., DD (9798212170697). Gr. 7-10. Declan had plans of rising to baseball stardom but it is all taken away when he irreparably injures his arm. Declan trades his best friend and practicing Jew, Jake, in for new antisemitic gamer friends.  The audio uses alternating narrators to give voice to both Declan and Jake, truly highlighting how easily hate can warp a life.  
  • Spice Road. By Maiya Ibrahim. Read by Krupa Pattani. 2023. 14 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593667859). Gr. 9-12. Determined to restore her brother’s tarnished reputation, Imani uses her spice-infused magical abilities to find her presumed dead brother. Imani’s epic journey through the Qalian landscape is easily matched by Krupa Pattani’s stellar narration, which sticks with readers as they deal with frustratingly hot warriors and snarky djinns.
  • Then Everything Happens at Once. By M-E Girard. Read by Aida Reluzco. 2023. 9.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | HarperTeen, DD (9780063206717). Gr. 9-12. Baylee has had a long-time crush on her friend, Freddie, but she has recently started dming Alex. As things heat up with each love interest, COVID sweeps the nation and everything in Baylee’s life is going to change completely. Aida Reluzco crystalizes Baylee’s self-deprecating quirkiness with her narration of this story. 
  • Thieves’ Gambit. By Kayvion Lewis. Read by Jade Wheeler. 2023. 10.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593744796). Gr. 9-12. Ross Quest is the youngest member in a family of master thieves. When her mother is kidnapped during a heist, Ross must join the Thieves’ Gambit, a competition for teenaged thieves, to win and get her mother home. Wheeler’s narration harnesses the action as Ross problem solves challenges and worries about her mother.
  • This Is Not a Personal Statement. By Tracy Badua. Read by Ferdelle Capistrano. 2023. 8.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063217782). Gr. 10-12.  Perla, a sixteen-year-old high school senior, worked her whole life to get into her dream university. When she isn’t accepted, or even waitlisted, she concocts a plan to fake her acceptance and heads off to school. Armed with meticulous spreadsheets Perla tries to cover up her lies in an anxiety-ridden romp. The narrarator brings Perla’s naive and stressful story to life wth good pacing and inflections.
  • Turtles of the Midnight Moon. By María José Fitzgerald. Read by Elena Rey and Frankie Corzio. 2023. 7.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593666777). Gr. 3-6.  An eco-mystery set in a coastal village in Honduras, brings two girls with different lives and languages together to stop sea turtle poachers. Abby and Barana deal with twists, turns and cultural barriers while learning about each other. Read by a trio of narrators, the vivid setting and intense characters combine well with the quick story pace and clear pronunciation.
  • *Warrior Girl Unearthed. By Angeline Boulley. Read by Isabella Star LaBlanc. 2023. 11.5 hr. Macmillan Audio, DD (9781250877277). Gr. 9-12. Perry Firekeeper-Birch just wanted to enjoy her summer. Instead she is forced to complete an internship at her tribe’s museum. There she learns about NAGPRA and repatriation. She and her friends embark on a journey to bring their ancestors home. The narrator brings the story to life with her pronunciation of Ojibwa language and her captivating tone. 
  • *We Deserve Monuments. By Jas Hammonds. Read by Tamika Katon-Donegal. 2022. 10.5 hr. Recorded Books, Inc., DD (9781705069530). Gr. 9-12. Avery’s life changes when she leaves her home in DC to live in a small southern town where she encounters a hostile grandmother, a racist community, and the mystery of her grandfather’s disappearance decades ago. Tamika Katon-Donegal emotionally portrays Avery’s journey in this LGBTQ+ slow-burn mystery. 
  • *What Happened to Rachel Riley? By Claire Swinarski. Read by a full cast. 2023. 6 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063213128). Gr. 5-8. Anna Hunt just moved to East Middle, where she discovers that former popular girl, Rachel Riley, is now enemy number one. Using a full cast of readers to present a variety of clues in the form of notes, emails, and text messages, Anna digs into the mystery.
  • What Happens After Midnight. By K.L. Walther. Read by Tina Wolstencroft. 2023. 9.5 hr. Tantor Audio, DD (9798350836394). Gr. 9-12. Lily’s senior year is uneventful until a mysterious note invites her to help plan the senior prank. Lily is excited until she learns the prank’s mastermind is her ex-boyfriend; as the two work together, secrets, old hurts, and romantic feelings resurface. Wolstencraft’s fun and playful narration is perfect for romance fans. 
  • Where You See Yourself. By Claire Forrest. Read by Ali Stroker. 2023. 8 hr. Scholastic Audiobooks, DD (9781339004815). Gr. 10-12. Effie Galanos is a senior with a lot on her plate: friendships, school, romance and the dreaded college search. Finding a college is more challenging than usual when Effie focuses on accessibility as she is a wheelchair user. Stoker’s singular narration brings listeners into Effie’s head as she advocates for herself and the future.
  • Whiteout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, et. al. Read by a full cast. 2022. 7.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063088177). Gr. 9-12. Romance finds a way when a snowstorm shuts down Atlanta, and twelve teens band together to pull off an apology to help their friend reconcile with their girlfriend. Multiple narrators weave together artful narrations; in this novel about the holidays, love, and Black Joy. 
  • *Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor. By Xiran Jay Zhao. Read by Eric Yang. 2022. 9 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797158914).Gr. 6-8.  Zachary Ying is just trying to survive school and play his favorite AR video game. Suddenly, his game becomes more reality than augmented reality. He embarks on a journey across China to save his mom and save the world. The narrator expertly brings each character to life with unique voices.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: What Happens After Midnight by K.L. Walther

  • What Happens After Midnight
  • by K.L. Walther
  • Narrated by Tina Wolstencroft
  • Tantor Media, Inc. | Tantor Audio
  • Publication Date: June 27, 2023
  • ISBN: 9798350836394

Lily Hopper is happy to let her senior year of high school end in a boring whimper. However, Lily’s plans change when she gets a mysterious note recruiting her to help plan the school’s senior prank. Lily is excited until she learns the prank’s mastermind is her ex-boyfriend, Taggart. Lily broke up with Tag over a year ago, but never got over him. As Lily and Tag work together, secrets and old hurts resurface while romantic feelings return. 

What Happens After Midnight is a fun rom-com of high school hijinks. The story is equal parts romance and thoughtful exploration of the emotions that surround leaving the familiarity of high school and progressing to the unknown of college. The parallel storylines of the senior year prank and the remembrance of Lily and Tag’s relationship allow the book to straddle the genres of romance and realistic fiction to widen its teen appeal. The book’s fast-paced story of mishaps during the night while they try to pull off the “perfect prank” will appeal to reluctant readers. 

Wolstencroft narration perfectly brings to life the fun overnight escapade of the prank while beautifully expressing Lily’s feelings of loss and confusion. The narrator takes the listener on an emotional roller coaster ride of Lily’s uncertainty of the future, exhilaration of the adventure, and the possibility of romance. Fans of Lynn Painter’s Better Than the Movies and Rachel Lynn Solomon‘s Today, Tonight, Tomorrow will enjoy this page-turner of a rom-com.

–Rebecca Baldwin

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: August 29, 2023
Release Date: June 6, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh by Rachel Lippencott

  • Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh
  • by Rachel Lippencott
  • Narrated by Natalie Naudus and Shakira Shute
  • Simon & Schuster Audiobooks | Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication Date: August 29, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781797161617

A spin on a regency romance, Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh is a Sapphic time travel story about finding yourself. The main characters, Audrey and Lucy, are brought together when a toss of a coin transports Audrey from 2023 Pittsburgh to 1812 England. Through the course of the story Audrey and Lucy each embark on journeys of personal discovery; Audrey needs to find herself to find her way back home and Lucy needs to find a new place where she can be herself.

The narrators do an excellent job bringing these characters and their emotional journey to life. Natalie Naudus’ rich tone gives voice to Audrey beautifully and Shakira Shute’s expert portrayal of the raw emotion of Lucy’s story makes listening to the audiobook very immersive.

This title is perfect for readers who enjoy Casey McQuiston, Ashley Poston, and Mackenzi Lee. It is also great for fans of Bridgerton and Outlander.

-Haley Shaw

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: April 4, 2023
Release Date: November 7, 2023
Release Date: January 31, 2023
Release Date: May 16, 2023
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Release Date: January 31, 2023
Release Date: January 17, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: The Brothers Hawthorne by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  • The Brothers Hawthorne
  • by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Narrated by Jay Ben Markson
  • Hachette Audio | Little, Brown Young Readers
  • Publication Date: August 29, 2023
  • ISBN:9781668623817

Grayson Hawthorne takes care of his family. Always. When his half-sisters (who know nothing about him) need help, he’s there. Thankfully, Xander and Nash show-up, too, just when Grayson needs them most. Jameson Hawthorne loves to win. When his absent father presents him with the challenge to win back his father’s inherited family residence, he is determined to win, as usual. Avery (the girl who inherited the boys’ grandfather’s fortune in The Inheritance Games) becomes his his accomplice. Tobias Hawthorne prepared his grandsons to solve every puzzle, to protect family at all cost, and – above all else – to win. In the face of new challenges, Grayson and Jameson are prepared to do just that. Except, this time, the Hawthorne brothers aren’t together to do so.   

The mystery of the Hawthorne family seems to never end. New readers will fall in love with Grayson and Jameson and be drawn into the current challenges. Curiosity may lead to reading the previous titles, but isn’t necessary. Jay Ben Markson’s narration keeps readers on the edge of their seats, rooting for Grayson and Jameson as each works to solve the clues to their own challenge, likely to change each of their lives.  


Perfect for readers who read other books in the series or enjoyed One of Us is Lying, Truly Devious, or Firekeeper’s Daughter. Also a good choice for teens who’ve seen and enjoyed the mystery of Knives Out and Glass Onion

-Lysha Thompson

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: October 18, 2022
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Release Date: March 7, 2023
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Release Date: September 26, 2023
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Release Date: May 2, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

  • Spice Road
  • by Maiya Ibrahim
  • Narrated by Krupa Pattani
  • Books on Tape | Listening Library
  • Publication Date: January 24, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780593667859

Misra tea has the power to awaken magic hidden within. However, the Council closely guards its use and severely punishes those who violate its rules. Misra misuse can lead to magical obsession and death if the Council doesn’t get to you first. Imani shows her loyalty to the Council by strictly following their Misra rules. She is determined to prove her worth as a Shield and is different from her deceased Misra-obsessed older brother. When Imani uncovers evidence that her brother may still be alive and using Misra, she takes the opportunity to prove her loyalty by returning him to the Council. Imani and a group of Council-selected Shields embark on the expansive journey to find her brother. The farther Imani gets from home, the more she learns about her world and Misra, which calls into question everything she thought was true. 


This sweeping journey draws readers into a new sandswept world filled with ghouls and snarky djinns. There is something for every reader in this adventurous romantic fantasy.  Pattani’s narration takes this gorgeous story to new heights. She successfully helps readers navigate this new world and compels them forward. It is an audiobook that will hold listeners attention for just one more minute, followed by one more. Spice Road is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Roshani Chokshi.

-Sarah Carpenter

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 22, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse

  • Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse
  • Narrated by Angel Pean, Ruffin Prentiss, Shaun Taylor-Corbett
  • Simon & Schuster Audiobooks | Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication Date: November 22, 2022
  • ISBN: 978179715276

Bayside and Hamilton, nearly identical in design, have been racially divided from the beginning. No one crosses the train tracks. Zach, who was raised in Philly and recently moved to Bayside along with his Bayside-native father, sees no reason to follow the “rules” when it comes to the segregation of the two towns.

Although they have only left Bayside a handful of times, Capri and her older brother, Justin, have dreams of getting out and making it big. Justin is counting on a basketball scholarship and college while Capri dreams of dancing on Broadway. When Zach learns his idol, a jazz musician, owns a record shop in Hamilton and heads over to meet him he meets Capri, who is working at the shop. Zach and Capri share mutual goals and an instant connection. Told from the three teens’ points of view, this story explores race, division, and class through the people and traditions of two towns. When a Hamilton teen is shot by a Bayside police officer, tragedy strikes the towns. It could further deepen the division between the towns or, just maybe, it will bring about the start of real change. 

Charity Alyse’s debut novel is both emotionally intense and thought-provoking. Racism, segregation, and interracial relationships are all key components of the storyline. Although set in the present, the events are reminiscent of circumstances of earlier decades. The narrators provide distinctly-voiced characters that will draw listeners to the story.

Other Side of the Tracks is a perfect next read to follow Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal or Kim Johnson’s Invisible Son. Be sure to recommend this title to teens watching All American. 

-Lysha Thompson

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: May 2, 2023
Release Date June 6, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: The Queens of New York by E.L. Shen

  • The Queens of New York
  • by E.L. Shen
  • Narrated by Katharine Chin, Vyvy Nguyen and Joy Osmanski
  • Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. | Quill Tree Books
  • Publication Date: June 6, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780063237988

Best friends and New York natives Jia, Ariel and Everett are inseparable. But this summer, each friend is going on their own adventure.Broadway-obsessed Everett is off to a prestigious theater camp in Ohio. Though she can’t stop thinking about South Korea where her older sister died last year, Ariel, a certified genius, is headed to California for a STEM camp before starting college a year early. Kind, solid Jia is at home in Flushing trying to help with her parents’ restaurant while also caring for her younger sister and grandmother. The three friends support each other from near and far while exploring the world and how they want to live in it.

This audiobook has something to offer everyone and readers will be sure to catch glimpses of themselves in Jia, Ariel and Everett. The narrators bring the personality of the different friends to life in a way that is realistic and comforting rather than overly dramatic. A great read for those looking for realistic fiction and tales of strong friendship like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, the Heartstopper books and TV series, Becky Albertali’s Simonverse books as well as Golden Boys by Phil Stamper.

-Natalie LaRocque

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli

  • Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli
  • Narrated by Caitlin Kinnunen
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Balzer & Bray
  • Publication Date: May 02, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780063045903

mogen works to be the best LGBTQIA+ ally. She makes space for her queer best friends and is the most committed member of her high school’s Pride Alliance group. When she visits when she visits her best friend, Lili, at college her identity will be challenged. As it turns out, Lili told her new friends that Imogen is her ex-girlfriend. As Imogen plays the part, she begins developing feelings for Lili’s new friend, Tessa. Imogen is hopelessly heterosexual, right? It is not only Imogen who will come to terms with her identity but also the important people in her life. Assumptions are not unique to one group of people and Imogen must face these challenges from unexpected places.

This cute romance packs a punch by digging deeply into the concept of identity and proves that the path to sexual identity is personal and unique for every individual. This audiobook makes room for a wide range of readers, especially those questioning their own sexuality, by showing that not every story follows the same path and can have unique twists. The narration enhances the lightness of the story and eases listeners into its depths. 

Fans of Albertalli’s previous works will flow easily into Imogen’s world. Those who love Julie Murphy, Hannah Moskowitz, and Adam Silvera will enjoy this novel as well.

-Sarah Carpenter

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Miles Morales: Suspended by Jason Reynolds

  • Miles Morales Suspended: A Spider-Man Novel
  • by Jason Reynolds
  • Narrated by Guy Lockard and Nile Bullock
  • Simon and Schuster Audio
  • Publication Date: May 2, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781797145600

Miles must serve a day of in-school suspension as a result of the events in the previous book, where he took down The Wardens and pushed back against his racist history teacher. It seems that his spidey sense is on the fritz again, but Miles is having trouble dodging his detention teacher and figuring out what is happening. Using his powers and sleuthing, Miles determines that super termites have begun attacking the school, specifically the history books with black and brown histories. While these evil termites must be stopped, Miles is going to need to find a way to do that without extending his suspension.

Yet again, Jason Reynolds’s mastery elevates this superhero storyline and plays with the setting by reducing the timeline of events to one day. Narrators Lockard and Bullock expertly match Reynolds’s prowess by providing a layered audio reading of this story. The audible “bzzzs” and “whams” add to the superhero world and Miles’s voice shows how this story matters even beyond the Spiderverse. Even if bugs make you squeamish, this audiobook has so much more to offer. Both fans of superhero comics and Jason Reynolds’s other works will find something awesome in this title.

-Sarah Carpenter

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell

  • Flowerheart
  • by Catherine Bakewell
  • Narrated by Morag Sims
  • HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. | HarperTeen
  • Publication Date: March 14, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780063214651

Clara has never been able to truly control her magic, and while it creates great inconveniences for her, it has never hurt anyone, until now. When her latest magical test fails miserably and those in charge threaten to bind her magic, Clara’s magic lashes out and curses her father. Clara must find a way to heal the flowers that are growing out of her father’s insides before she loses her magic and is unable to fix it. She finds an unlikely ally with her ex-best friend Xavier, who offers a deal that will benefit them both. 

This fantasy blends unique magical abilities with an engaging plot that keeps readers discovering something new every step of the way. Morag Sims brings the whimsy of this book to light and her voice balances Clara’s sweetness with her magic’s sourness. While this audiobook is a comforting romp through a new magical world, it takes on mental health issues and anxiety in a gentle yet realistic way. It is a contemporary cousin to Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and will also appeal to fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. This audiobook will delight high fantasy fans who love romance mixed in with their new magical worlds. 

-Sarah Carpenter

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.